Paul Bryant's Reviews > Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story. Brian Wilson with Todd Gold

Wouldn't It Be Nice by Brian  Wilson
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's review
Sep 26, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: verysleazyfun, it-s-not-easy-being-brian, lifestyles-of-the-weird-and-famous
Recommended for: worshippers at the church of Brian Wilson


1) At first it was all fun, sun and bikinis.

The girls on the beach
Are all within reach
If you know what to do

I suppose he doesn't just mean "grow very long arms"

2) Then it was the troubled pop genius

They say I got brains but they ain't doin me no good..I just wasn't made for these times sigh sigh heavenly harmonies oooh ooh aaaaah

3) Then the drugs kicked in

I know that you'll feel better when you write us in a letter and tell us the name of your favorite vegetable

Er, okay Brian! We will do that!

Dear Brian

My favourite vegetable is the cucumber.

Best wishes

Your Number One fan

P Bryant

ps - I feel better already

4) Then even more drugs

A blind class aristocracy.
Back through the opera glass you see
the pit and the pendulum drawn.
Columnated ruins domino!

The dwindling number of fans : "Wow, this is deep stuff..."

5) Then there was a confrontation.

Brian : Over and over, the crow cries uncover the cornfield

Mike Love (for it is he) : Over and over the what? What is this shit, Brian?

6) Then there was much munching of burgers and gobbling of milkshakes

A big pot and tripley chin
Oh what condition my condition was in
Laughing at myself but what a crying shame
What ever happened to my Greek godly frame?

7) Then there was staying in bed for a few years

no songs at all during this period

8) Then they hired a psychiatrist and there was a fair amount of soul searching

All my life I've been runnin' scared
Feelin' shut out, no one cared
Not my mother, not my brother
Crazy beatings by my father
Boo hoo
Boo hoo

Record company president : "I realise you're Brian Wilson but if you think we're releasing this crap then you need another psychiatrist."

9) But the psychiatrist - we'll call him Eugene Landy - had boundary issues

Track 1 : Music and lyrics by : B Wilson/E Landy
Track 2 : Music and lyrics by : B Wilson/E Landy
Track 3 : Music and lyrics by : B Wilson/E Landy
Track 4 : Music and lyrics by : B Wilson/E Landy
Track 5 : Music and lyrics by : B Wilson/E Landy

10) So Brian and the other Beach Boys sued the ass off this guy and eventually prised Brian out of his deathlike grip. I understand he is no longer licensed to practise. Years passed and at last a new wife hove into view

Don't let her know she's an angel
I'm scared that she'll want to go free

11) And everything turned out all right in the end

Oh my gosh happy days are here again
I can see the twinkle in the people’s eyes
Goodbye blues, happy days are here again

Melissa, the great new wife : "Brian, I just know you're strong enough to finish Smile now."
Brian : "I think you're right, Melissa. But I couldn't do it without you. And Van Dyke Parks."

12) And finally a note on Brian's working methods

I get a lot of thoughts in the morning
I write 'em all down
If it wasn't for that
I'd forget 'em in a while


The original review:

The gruesome story of BW's psychology is enough to make me want to go to bed for ten years too. This book was (ghost) written whilst BW was in the clutch of Eugene Landy, the guy who invented 24/7 psychiatry, and the guy who likes to co-write songs with his patients, as long as their name is Brian Wilson and they might sell a million. As I recall this book was the subject of a lawsuit, probably from Mike Love. Well, that's not so unusual. He sues Brian on a regular basis, and sometimes he's even completely justified.
But this book is quite unique - uniquely odd writing, weird phrases, off-centre descriptions, overblown emotionalism. Nowadays, of course, Brian Wilson fans can read it knowing that the story eventually had an entirely unexpected happy ending, with Brian's emotional rescue and the artistic triumph of Smile and That Lucky Old Sun. In fact, the whole damn story is amazing.
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05/30/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Paul Bryant "A spry troll doll of a man, he wore a long cotton robe and sat in the lotus position on a raised platform set in the middle of the opulent hotel suite. In a high pitched voice, he spoke about spirituality, fulfillment and inner peace. The guys were awed, believers. Naturally wary of people, I had mixed feelings. I sat on the floor and listened, though my 220 pound body twisted into an uncomfortable knot."

"The Maharishi gave me my mantra, which I wasn't ever supposed to reveal. It was eye-may-mah. The mantra was supposed to cleanse my mind of disturbing thoughts. Relax me. In practisce, I was dealing with so many voices and pictures, twisted, unyielding, evil thoughts, that my simple yey-may-mah mantra was easily overwhelmed, and by the time I unlocked my thick legs I was so tense and riddled with anxiety that meditation became nothing more than a self-defeating exercise in futility and torment."

message 2: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Since you employed the phrase "Life of Brian" I believe there should also be a comparison of this book to the film of that title. A flow chart would be nice, if you have the time.

Paul Bryant That's a cracking ideam - After the release of Good Vibrations, Murray Wilson speaks to the press:

"He's not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty Beach Boy"

message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye So we should forgive him when he flies off the Handel?

message 5: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Thank you.

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